Chi­nese of­fi­cial in­vites S. Korea part­ners to Liaon­ing Prov­ince

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL -

China’s re­gional politi­cians urged South Korean busi­nesses to take part in Bei­jing’s One Belt One Road Ini­tia­tive, Wed­nes­day, dur­ing a fo­rum in Seoul co-hosted by a civic or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Xia Deren, chair­man of the Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence of Liaon­ing Prov­ince, said China and South Korea should co­op­er­ate in the Chi­nese prov­ince ad­ja­cent to North Korea, the Seoul Eco­nomic Daily re­ported.

Xia said the two coun­tries should co­op­er­ate in a One Belt One Road “test zone” in Liaon­ing. South Korean and Chi­nese busi­nesses also ought to “en­ter third mar­kets to­gether,” he added, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The One Belt One Road strat­egy, launched in 2013, is an am­bi­tious plan to con­nect China to Rus­sia and Europe by land, and to con­nect East Asia to Africa by a mar­itime route.

China and South Korea “can to­gether build the Dalian Free Trade Port, at­tract­ing world-class Korean com­pa­nies,” Xia said. “It will be con­nected by rail, avi­a­tion and ship­ping routes.”

Xia also said he seeks co­op­er­a­tion with South Korea on the for­ma­tion of a sci­ence park in the north­east­ern city of Shenyang.

“Through this, we will lead the in­dus­trial up­grade of Liaon­ing and en­ter a third mar­ket with South Korea,” the Chi­nese politi­cian said.

The Seoul-based Korea China As­so­ci­a­tion for Cul­tural Ex­change co-hosted the fo­rum where Xia spoke. No South Korean gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials were listed as present in the press re­port.

South Korean aca­demics, in­clud­ing re­searcher Jung Joo-young of Yon­sei Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute for North Korean Stud­ies, took part in the dis­cus­sion.

Jung told the fo­rum many of China’s part­ners are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an in­crease in their debt ra­tio ow­ing to the One Belt One Road. Bei­jing must “demon­strate leadership” and re­solve the is­sue, she said.

China is try­ing to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment and vis­i­tors amid a pro­longed trade dis­pute with the United States.

Yonhap re­ported Wed­nes­day that China’s Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion has ex­panded the num­ber of cities where vis­i­tors from qual­i­fied coun­tries can stay on a 144hour visa-free tran­sit.

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